The leader of the opposition in Zimbabwe and 49 co-defendants have limped into court in Harare after being arrested during political protests. They were later sent to hospital for treatment. Morgan Tsvangirai arrived with a partially shut eye and a deep head wound. They were held by riot police, and according to reports, beaten and tortured, after a meeting to protest against Zimbabwe’s political end economic crisis.
In Geneva, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, said: “The fact that the judicial system in Zimbabwe has seized the matter is already some relief from what by all account seemed to have been, first, the suppression of freedom of expression and of peaceful assembly, which is disturbing enough, but in addition, pretty extreme use of violence by the police forces involved.” The US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice called Robert Mugabe’s regime ruthless and repressive, and demanded the immediate release of Morgan Tsvangirai and all those arrested with him.